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Nintendo profit plunges as gamers crave new titles

July 30, 2009 |  1:11 pm

Wii Fit programs are so last year that customers are no longer flocking to them. Credit: AP.

Remember when the Nintendo Wii game console was so incredibly popular that it was hard to find it in stores?

Now Nintendo is having trouble finding customers, and profit at the Japanese company is slipping more than a wee bit.

Nintendo, headquartered in Kyoto, reported today that profit for the quarter ending in June was down 61% compared to the same period a year ago. During that time, the company sold 2.23-million Wii units, compared with 5.17 million a year ago.

The slip was especially dramatic because during the 2008 holiday shopping season, new game titles such as Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit were flying off the shelves. But they're old hat now in an industry that needs constant renewal.

Industry analyst Satoru Kikuchi told the Associated Press that gamers are "getting bored."

"Nintendo needs to keep their attention with new software, but that hasn't happened," he said.

Nintendo isn't alone in hitting a bad patch. Sony reported that sales of its PlayStation game machines dropped 37% in the quarter.

-- David Colker